When I make a call to get some information regarding a matter, I generally start the conversation with "Hello, I would like to inquire about something."

Is this a correct usage? If not, what would be a good way to start such a conversation?

Edit: To provide some more context, here's a sample conversation:

Call center employee: Hello, my name is ... How may I help you?

Me: Hello. I would like to inquire about something. One of my clients is a paper factory, and they would like to do business with one of your suppliers. Do they need to be get any kind of certification from you to do so?

  • Let's assume you're speaking to the right person, not a receptionist. If you're going to ask for something on behalf of a client, then you need to begin with something different. It depends on whether you want the person on the other end to know that you're someone's agent, lawyer, or whatever. Everything depends on context. I inferred you were asking about asking a question about buying some goods, but I was wrong. I'll delete my answer. There's no one correct way to start such a conversation. And you may need permission. More context's needed. – user21497 May 15 '13 at 11:15
  • I have added some information to provide more context. – hattenn May 15 '13 at 11:28
  • If you're ringing a call centre, then certainly not! You are obviously ringing to enquire about something. And call cantre staff generally just want to deal with the matter as briefly and quickly as possible, and then get onto the next caller. Hope this helps. – TrevorD May 15 '13 at 11:38
  • A personal pet peeve of mine is the seemingly obligatory "I would like to thank . . ." that begins many speeches. To my ears, the next words out of the speaker's mouth should be "but that would be insincere, because frankly I'm not grateful at all." Why not simply get to the point and say "Thank you"? Save your words for something important, or witty. If in business, time is money, then get to the point: "I'm calling to inquire about _____," or "I have a question: Does my client need to ____ if . . .? My rant is finished--for now. – rhetorician May 15 '13 at 22:48
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    Honestly I just asked to find out if that sentence was grammatically correct and if it is somehow common (mainly with the culture in the USA). But this question has been more of a shout-out for people's obsessions on "how they think people should just cut to the effing point", without adding any value to the question in hand whatsoever. – hattenn May 15 '13 at 23:32

I presume that in your quotation the word "something" would be substituted by the name of the item that you are enquiring about.

On that basis, I think it's perfectly normal and acceptable English (in the UK).

  • I generally use something similar to "Hello. I would like to inquire about something. My client is..." Is it still ok? – hattenn May 15 '13 at 10:55
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    @hattenn After writing my response, I saw your reply to Bill - and that definitely changes my answer. No, I would NOT prefix your enquiry as you suggest. I might start my answer with "Hello, I'm ringing in connection with my client, XYZ, about ABC." Then, depending on the circumstances, I might say something like "Can you help me?" or "Would you pass me to the person dealing with this matter?" But, as Bill suggests, I would NOT ask permission to ask a question! My first answer still applies if you are ringing in a personal capacity, not in a business / professional capacity. – TrevorD May 15 '13 at 11:11
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    @hattenn As an aside, if you were to amplify your profile to indicate your location, perhaps mother tongue, experience of English, business, etc., you might get more appropriate answers (and avoid others wasting time answering the wrong question). – TrevorD May 15 '13 at 11:20

protected by tchrist Feb 26 '15 at 1:19

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